I love a good gimmick. Actually, I love a bad gimmick. Remember when Tony Atlas called himself Saba Simba? Me neither, but I bet I would have loved it.
If I am at a restaurant and they serve a drink in a miniature fishbowl, or have a special desert that changed colors as you ate it, I will be the guy buying it.
So, it shouldn't surprise you that I bought Clue: The Movie on DVD.
Based on the board game (which is kind of a gimmicky thing to base a movie on anyway) this movie follows the plot of the game.
Early on, Mr. Body is killed and a bunch of people (Mr. Green, Prof. Plum, etc) are stuck in a mansion trying to decide who did it. The film added a few other characters including:
Wadsworth the Butler: Played by Tim Curry, he carries the film. In the very end he steals it completely.
Yvette the Maid: She had a heaving bosom. That's all I remember about her. It was really, really heaving.
The Cook: I didn't even notice her until she was killed. Her bosom was heaving too, but in a bad way.
The Singing Telegram Girl: Jane Wiedlin (the cute girl from the Go Go's) pops up all too briefly.
Anyway, the film roars to a climax with Tim Curry re-enacting the entire movie at a breakneck pace. All in all it's a pretty good comedy and a fun (if impossible to predict) whodunit.
The reason it is impossible to predict is because of the gimmick: THREE DIFFERENT ENDINGS.
When the film played in movie houses in 1985 there were 3 possible endings that you could see depending on what theater you went to. The theaters would advertise that they showed ending a, b or c. The idea was pretty clever and maybe it worked.
The film grossed 14 million dollars at the box office. That seems pretty bad for a movie today but in 1985 14 million was, like, 100 billion dollars (I think.)
The film is the 2,424 most successful film of all time. Whooo hooo! However, it made less money than The Care Bears Movie and Tim Curry can't be too proud of that. I bet he stays up at night cursing the name of Tenderheart Bear.
The DVD works with the option of watching an ending chosen at random or the home video ending which spliced all three endings together separated by title cards that read things like "this is the way it could have happened" and "but, this is the way it REALLY happened."
The DVD did neglect to include the other part of the gimmick: the theater patrons were given a score card (just like in the home game) that they could use to rule out suspects with. Of course after the lights went down no one could SEE it so they probably just stuck it into their pockets (or heaving bosoms.)